The new release of BI Publisher 18.104.22.168 has a very nice new feature for those of you wanting to build reports on top of the BI Server data model. In previous releases you would need to either write the logical sql yourself or build an Answer request and copy the SQL from the Advanced tab and paste it into the BIP data modeler.
With the new release comes the ability to create reports without the need for a data model at all. You have the option when creating a new report to use a subject area directly.
Once you have selected the subject area you are interested in you can decide on whether to continue into the wizard to help you build the layout. Or to strike out on your own and build the layout yourself.
If you go for the latter and load up the layout editor, you get to see all of the data items you would see in the Answers builder in the data tree. Its then a case of dragging and dropping the columns into the layout, just as you would normally with a sample data source.
Once you are back to the report editor, the final step is to add some parameters.
This is a little different to a conventional BIP report. There is no data model definition per se i.e the logical SQL is not stored but rather, the columns you added to the layout and the subject area(s) you pulled them from. Yes' you can go across subject areas, but you need to know if its going to make sense or even work before you add more. You add more subject areas click on the subject area name where the data model name normally resides. You'll then get a shuttle dialog that lets you add more subject areas. You can then add columns in the layout builder.
Getting back to the parameters, on the report editor page, click the Parameters link (top right.) This will open the parameters dialog.
You can add parameters and set how they will be displayed; whether folks can select all; do they see check boxes, a drop box or text box; whether other parameters should be limited by the choice made for this box. Everything you get with a regular BIP parameter.
Finally, the report rendered with the parameters.
If you have a need to build a more highly formatted report on the BI Server data then this is definitely the way to go. This approach really does open up BIP reporting to business users. No need to write SQL, just pick the columns you want and format them in a simple to use interface.
Before you ask, you can not build report layouts in MSWord or Excel for this type of data source, not yet anyhoo :0)
For those of you integrating or planning to integrate with Forms, ADF or APEX, a presentation from our friends at PITSS
Tuesday, 14.05.2013 (14-May-2013)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (CEST)
Integrating Oracle BI Publisher with
Forms 11g, ADF and APEX
Have you already decided about how to integrate in the future your reports within your Oracle Forms, ADF or APEX applications? In view of the technical innovations in Oracle Forms 11g, we will take a closer look at Oracle BI Publisher and see, step by step, how can we reach an optimal integration of BI Publisher reports within existing Forms applications, as well as the co-existence with Oracle ADF and APEX.
I had a question last week from a great customer that is looking to build some custom .Net apps that enable users to jump from the app to the BIP interface with a click. The fly in the ointment, no single sign on (SSO) servers in sight! Day-um!
Some messing with the BIP login and some knowledge of the underlying jsp files that are actually getting called i.e. http://server:port/xmlpserver is actually resolving to http://server:port/xmlpserver/login.jsp. Then some use of the IE/FF Developer tools to find the appropriate names for the user name and password fields on the login page and I came up with:
It worked! Sometimes, I even amaze myself at my detective (read 'hacking') abilities :0)
A request from Leslie today to help her out on the user docs. In them we state that we support the MSWord organization charts but we do not give any detail.Use the organization chart functionality in the templates and the chart that is rendered in the output. Figure 4-18 shows an example of an organization chart.
Figure 4-18 Sample Organization Chart
Its been a while since I have looked at them but we mean just that. You build an org chart with names in the boxes, BIP will render it, simple.
Oh, you wanted it to load the names into the chart dynamically from the dataset? Sorry, no dice, at least not with the MSWord Org Chart object.
However, you can create your own org chart structure using MSShapes and use BIP's ability to fill those shapes with text from your data. Thats documented pretty well and is very easy to do. Taking it to obvious final step; completely data driven org chart structure and text. Thats a bit tougher. It can be done with the shape copy and move commands but its going to take some planning. You need to think about how wide your 'page' is, what to do when you reach the edge and need to continue with the same level in the hierarchy, etc.
To get you started, I have created a sample template and data for the first two scenarios. They will work with all releases of BIP and XMLP. The third will take me a little longer :0)
How can I store the result of <?xdofx:to_check_number(TOTAL_INV_AMOUNT,'USD','CASE_UPPER','DECIMAL_STYLE_WORDS')?> inside a variable.
Checking this out, BIP chokes on the assigning to the variable with a nice error:
Namespace prefix 'xdofx' used but not declared
Turning to BIP RTF template guru in residence Hok-Min, he suggested avoiding the xdofx: wrapper altogether in this case and calling the function more directly. The underlying function in java is:
public static String toCheckNumber(String locStr, String amount, String preOrCurCode, String caseStyle, String decimalStyle)
Applying that to Satyender's needs we end up with:
We still need the xdoxslt prefix but we can now assign the value to a variable. There is a caveat from Hok Min.
Note that the amount has to be in string format. If it is not a string, it has to be converted to a string, e.g. string($CALCULATED_SALARY). If you use XML element name directly (like in this case SALARY), then it is already a string, so no need to do conversion.
I know this raises the question of why do we need the xdofx: prefix at all? Im discussing that with Hok Min as I write and will get back to you.
With some help from the EBS folks, I recently re-ran a report on the latest EBS environment that stores the seeded content that we ship to customers. The document here (sorry,I had to zip it), lists the reports and their publisher templates. The vast majority are still based on an Oracle Reports extract rather than a publisher extract. I can not say that 100% of the reports have a Publisher template but its close. Hopefully it'll be a useful reference.
For more information on the reports check the specific products' documentation.